Langkawi – Ramayana in Malaysia

Expectation is the root cause of disappointment. There are other instances when you have no clue about a certain place and it ends up being a heaven on Earth. Langkawi is one such beauty !! 🙂 During our journey on the Star Cruise, Langkawi was the second halt. We had no idea about this place. We checked the tour options that were arranged by the shipping group. We found it costlier and decided to explore the best picks from the ship’s tour plan on our own.

We found a friendly taxi driver who made our experience all the more cool. Langkawi, is strikingly filled with greenery and the wetness of the sea hits you all around the city.

The story of Langkawi goes like this..

A Persian prince kidnapped a Chinese Princess, when a huge eagle flew to attack the prince and protect her. The eagle was injured and it fell at Langkawi- lang-eagle and kawi- brown – ”Land of the brown eagle”. Doesn’t this story sound a bit familiar? Yes it their version of our Ramayana.. Another thing is, ”kawi” in Tamil(language spoken in South India) indicates brown color – another similarity. The theory that a huge continent started splitting and drifting away, seems to be true after all.

The huge eagle stands on the tip of the city and a must-click-a-pic spot. One can simply sit in this place for a few hours and get immersed in the beauty of the place. The eagle and the sea in front of it, make awesome photo-shoot spots. You can see this in the pic on the left.

We headed to the Kilm Geo park at Langkawi – seriously one of the best. It was an exciting experience because in this Geo-park, you travel along the back waters by boat, stopping at the islands to look around the park and then move all the way up to the wavy sea. Something right out of National Geography channel 🙂 I enjoyed it more than the safari at Thailand.

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The Geo park has a bat cave in one of the islands. A scary and thrilling experience to walk through the bat caves. Eagles flying down in huge numbers to eat a piece of flesh thrown to them, the monkeys, the mangrove forest in a whole is a place of scenic beauty. Even as I type (it being a rainy day today), the greenery and wetness of Langkawi is fresh in my mind. Our boat driver was also our guide, with broken English. ”If you no wear the life jacket, they take photo and give you 150$ when u go out” – He meant, people without life jackets are fined 150$!! The boats are definitely not well maintained and he was very fast. As we neared the sea, out boat was literally jumping on the waves like a two-wheeler that moves fast on a speed-breaker. I had to force him to slow down.

We went to the fish rearing centers, which are located in another island of the park. Many kinds of fish, especially one that shoots its prey with water and brings it down. Our guide demonstrated it with bits of bread held in his hand or stuck to a piece of wood. The fish, at at least a meter’s distance, would aim at the pieces and shoot a jet of water to bring them down. I was amazed like a kid..

There was also feeding the eagles. The boatmen throw pieces of meat to the eagles and the way the sweep down and grab the meat is really a sight to watch and definitely capture !!

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But we were running short of time and had to get back to the cruise, hardheartedly ending out adventure.

Our taxi-driver seemed a great fan of Indian movies. He knew the Big B, SRK and of course thalaivar Rajini B-) He said he watches a Tamil movie every day with subtitles and this makes his wife very angry. He was impressed with the dosa – he didn’t know the name and acted it out – he wanted to learn how to make it. My husband’s mind voice was like ”Nalla aala kekaran !!” (he is asking the wrong person). But I managed to explain the procedure and wrote out the items for him B-)

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Langkawi was a sweet but very short surprise. A friend of mine visited the place for a couple of days. She told me about her diving adventures.. Well well, that’s the draw back of cruising – you have only limited time. As we headed back to the cruise, we saw that the locals make the best use of tourists – shops are laid out around the dock on the days that the ship arrives. Some shopping, eating local food and pictures in front of the cruise later – we were back inside for yummy food and a fun-filled disco night.

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Travel Tips:

Time is very important – tune your watch to the local time. Langkawi is a tourist hub, so no English communication problems. Taxi works better than the ship’s tours. It helps to cover more places at a cheaper rate. The Kilm Geo-park looks creepy at certain places. If with kids, stick to a bigger group for safety. In the Kilm geo-park, it is cheaper to hire the boat as a group, unless you want privacy. But make groups before you enter the park. Once you go inside, they will not allow groups to be formed.

We heard sea-food is awesome. A bit of Indian culture, lot of greenery, warm people and a cute city – thats Langkawi 🙂

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